The one thing I want from Sachin Tendulkar is his calmness at the crease: Chris Gayle
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Sachin Tendulkar and I have always shared fun moments whenever we've met. The routine's generally the same. I'll share a few jokes with him, pull his leg. And he just ends up laughing a lot.
Before his last Test in Mumbai, though, I will exchange a few stern words with him. "Don't edge to me or I'll gobble you up at slip and that will make me the last person to take Sachin Tendulkar's catch in international cricket."
I might also remind him that I've gotten him out once. In a one-day game right here in India (lbw for 31 in Nagpur in 2007). So Sachin's already in my pocket. Everybody wants to claim that he's got the big wicket of Sachin Tendulkar. These days, some bowlers might say getting Chris Gayle out is a big thing. But trust me, that was a special occasion.
Having said that, I have been in the outfield and watched him score hundreds and double-hundreds many times. He's also gone on to score 100 hundreds. He's simply the master.
From a batting aspect, the only word you can use for him is 'legend'. He makes batting look so easy. He's strong all around the wicket. It's difficult to bowl at him. He got a shot for every ball you bowl to him. If there's one thing I would want to take from Sachin it'll be the calmness with which he goes about his batting. And how he can manipulate bowlers and dictate the game however he wants to. Just like Brian Lara, whom I played a lot alongside, could do too. They always seemed to know which bowler they're going to step it up against and score the most runs off and against whom they should back off. They are also great because they can make the bowler come to them and bowl where they want it rather than the bowler trying to go at them.